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Bandits swarmed in on the knights from all sides. The knights and Arthur formed a protective circle around Percival and the injured Merlin. Percival crouched down, shielding Merlin with his body. Alith had started to come round and Salhak was now standing over her limp body. Merlin, however, was still unconcious.

Despite the knight's fighting skills, they were soon overpowered for what the bandits lacked in skill they made up for in numbers. Arthur watched anxiously as his manservant was flung roughly over the back of a horse. Despite her master being unconcious, Alith had changed into a falcon and was standing on Merlin's prone body, hissing at any of the bandits as they passed by. Blood was soaking through the makeshift bandage and little drops of it fell onto the rustling autumn leaves. Merlin's face was as white as a sheet and soaked with sweat. The boy was shuddering and Arthur felt sure that if he were to go over and touch it, he would find Merlin's forehead raging hot.

The small group was chained up and dragged behind the bandits who were on horse back. They walked for several hours through seemingly endless forest until they finally emerged into a bleak, barren landscape. Dark clouds blocked any sunlight making the land seem even darker. A black castle stuck up on a hill.

Upon arrival at the old derelict castle, the six of them were hurled into a dungeon. They helped Merlin up onto a pile of sacks and laid their cloaks over his still body. Merlin was shivering, the sweat of the fever soaking his clothes and coating his brow. Alith had switched to a cat and was curled up beside Merlin, nudging his hand every so often with her nose. The young man moaned and shifted in his sleep, groaning in pain.

Merlin couldn't understand why he felt so cold. He could barely stop shivering. He could feel Alith's soft little nose nudging his hand and found it comforting and reassuring.

"His fever's getting worse sire," someone said from far away.

Merlin didn't understand, what fever? Why was he ill? Everything came rushing back to him in an instant. The quest, the arrow... He also dimly remembered being slung over the back of a horse. They must have been captured at some point. Gradually, Merlin felt darkness pull him into it's black oblivion.

High up in the desolate castle, in the highest tower of the castle, a young girl lay asleep on a four poster bed with her wolf cub daemon curled up in the crook of her arm. A woman dressed in black, stuck her head into the comfortable room and fixed her glance onto her young ward.


I'll try and get chapter 6 up soon, in the meantime, who is the ward?

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